Regular connection dropouts and buffering issues have been made a thing of the past for residents in an area of County Durham, who have benefitted from the arrival of one of the UK’s largest rural broadband specialists.
The village of Ouston and its surrounding areas regularly saw their broadband connections drop out or grind to a halt during peak usage times, as slow and outdated copper connections struggled to meet demands.
This problem was only exacerbated when the coronavirus pandemic forced people to remain in their homes and still manage many of their regular daily tasks.
That was until Voneus, which provides superfast and ultrafast broadband solutions to rural communities in 22 counties across the UK, installed a wireless solution in Ouston which saw speeds in the area leap from less than 3Mpbs to more than 40Mbps.
For residents and businesses in the surrounding villages, the impact has been instantaneous, boosting download and upload speeds to eradicate streaming and video calling issues.
Trina Walker, who lives a mile from Ouston in the village of Pelton with her husband and son, said: “The area’s broadband connection was all over the place stability wise before Voneus came to the rescue.
“Being in a location with a poor connection, it wasn’t very helpful at all when the pandemic started and myself, my husband, and my son were all forced to remain in our home.
“With all three of us working from home it had to be a battle to see who got on the internet first; as a dancing teacher I was having to do zoom lessons and I’d be in the middle of something and then lose connection – you almost have to look at the funny side of it.
“Since Voneus arrived, it has been completely different; we have not had a dropped connection once since joining up with them and the speeds have meant we’ve been able to have everyone on the internet at the same time for things that require a lot of bandwidth.
“We’ve been able to host Zoom calls and stream movies while my son, who is a media graduate, has been able to upload and download the large video files required for his work with ease whereas in the past that was not a possibility.”
Previous calls made to other broadband providers to resolve connection issues failed to get anywhere; expansion across Ouston and into the surrounding areas was deemed too difficult or too costly to allow for installation.
Trina added: “We had been fighting for better broadband to come to Ouston and the area for more than five years, but no one was willing to come to the village and provide it.
“In one case we were told such an upgrade couldn’t happen until 2025 at the earliest and with the pandemic shifting everyone’s jobs into their homes, for many people that was not a viable option.
“Thankfully Voneus were not like the others; they were more than willing to discuss our needs and nothing was ever too much of a hassle for them, which made bringing faster broadband here completely stress free.
“The team remained in constant contact with us to provide updates and any information we needed, and they’ve never been too far away whenever anything has popped up – even after bringing broadband to the area they’ve continued to remain an integral part of the community.”
Head of community engagement for Voneus Zoe Day said: “Trina’s testimony is an incredible example of how vital the work we do connecting rural communities is, especially as with the pandemic it showcased how many locales such as Ouston and the surrounding villages were left behind by other broadband providers.
“Voneus’ aim is to take rural communities which have been left behind on a path from no real broadband provision to gigabit-capable connectivity, offering connections enjoyed by those living in urban areas.”